Looking for a specific product?

Make a search for products & suppliers, articles & news.

Less pain for the physically active

“We’re not at all talking about marathons or other extreme forms of exercise. All physical activity helps, like carrying bags back from shopping or walking to and from work,” says Stein Kaasa, professor at the Institute of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, NTNU.

The older we get, the more important it is to be physically active. A walk outside in natural surroundings is at least as good for you as a trip to the gym, researchers say. The older we get, the more important it is to be physically active. A walk outside in natural surroundings is at least as good for you as a trip to the gym, researchers say.

Dr Kaasa has headed a research project examining the effect of physical activity on chronic pain, mental health and cancer. The project received funding under the Research Programme on Public Health (FOLKEHELSE) at the Research Council of Norway.

Stein Kaasa Stein Kaasa Three out of ten have chronic pain

The project has drawn in part on data collected from the comprehensive Nord-Trøndelag health study (HUNT), a longitudinal population health study carried out in Norway. The relevant segment of HUNT covers chronic pain in relation to physical and mental health among the general population over a 5-year period. Participants in the study were 20 years of age or older.

Three out of ten respondents reported having moderate to severe pain consistently for over a year. The study also shows that physically active individuals experience less pain over time.

The occurrence of chronic pain among individuals who exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes one to three times a week was close to ten per cent lower than for those who do not exercise at all. The difference was even greater among older women. Depending on the intensity of exercise, the rate of pain in this group was 20 to 40 per cent less in active individuals.

Exercise each day keeps the doctor away

In their further analysis of the data, the researchers looked at the correlation between pain and exercise for the individual. They discovered that individuals who went from no exercise to moderate exercise reported a decrease in pain.

“Even so, we need to be careful about drawing the conclusion that high pain levels will diminish just through greater exercise,” Professor Kaasa points out.

“In order to be certain, we need to carry out an intervention study in which we offer generally inactive people with pain a programme to help them become more active. This will establish a basis for determining the effect of training,” he explains.

Skiing Better mental health

According to analyses of the HUNT data, physically active individuals also benefit from better mental health. The differences are greatest between those who do not exercise at all and those who exercise some. It is less pronounced between people who are somewhat active compared to those who exercise a lot. Once again, the difference was greatest for women over 65.

“This means that physical activity is not only useful in preventing pain, but that it also contributes to improving well-being in general,” the professor maintains.

Beneficial for cancer patients

In a separate study, researchers examined the effect of training on cancer patients. Patients underwent a rehabilitation programme including one hour of physical activity twice daily. Activities ranged from Nordic walking and aerobics to training in a pool or with weights.

Researchers found that the patients’ quality of life and their level of activity increased substantially. The fact that cancer patients can actually exercise and benefit from it is an important insight, Dr Kaasa believes. These patients are often concerned about how active they can and should be.

“The results document that not only is it possible for most cancer patients to engage in exercise, but that they also gain physical strength from it. In turn, they are likely to tolerate cancer treatments better and to remain more active on a daily basis,” the professor points out.
 

 

Related news

Latest news

Feeding the future with AKVA

AKVA group has seen a strong market response to the new AKVAconnect feeding system, released late 2016 into the Chilean market. Customer feedback has been very positive resulting in a strong increase in sales.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park Phase II will be managed by GreenPowerMonitor monitoring solutions

The project forms part of the larger 1 GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

CHALET AND CHALETINO, OAK FLOORING OF EXCEPTIONAL LENGTH AND WIDTH

Chalet and Chaletino from BOEN is parquet flooring made with exceptionally wide and long planks of the finest timber.

Fire in Vestdavit offices – Possible disruption of service

Vestdavit and all staff would like to express sincere thanks for the inquiries and good wishes sent to us by our industry partners,

TechnipFMC and DOF Subsea announce delivery of Sk

Technip FMC and DOF Subsea announce the delivery of Skandi Búzios and commencement of contract with Petrobras.

DNV GL Receives APS’s Supplier of the Year Award

DNV GL has been awarded Arizona Public Service Company (APS) 2017 Supplier of the Year Award for Customer Service in recognition of its work helping APS deliver the Solutions for Business energy efficiency program.

DNV GL advises on GBP 210 million investment for three new UK wind farms

DNV GL advises respected lenders, including Santander, on their GBP 210 million investment in a new 151 MW onshore wind portfolio.

Semcon Initiative for more Women as Engineers

In a new survey, half of the young women who want to study technology say that they lack female role models. With a mentoring programme for high schools and the browser extension Re-Search, technology company Semcon hopes ...

Akvaplan-niva and Roscongress Sign Agreement For Cooperation

Akvaplan-niva and Roscongress sign agreement for cooperation between Arctic Frontiers and Arctic: Territory of Dialogue.